just spent a week with my new 11m sonic. used it all week on my holiday round Wales. Week started in black rock sands on saturday with light winds from the south east gusty and horrible coming over snowdonia. i flew the kite on the beach and instantly loved it. smooth to turn and nice lift and as for gusts? i couldn't feel them at all! the kite just feels natural not too different to my old C kites.
as the wind picked up to about 15mph i headed out into the pools and set the power strap not to heavy on the power and off i went. amazed that i was going upwind as well as Col on a 15m nova and felt powered, was able to pop nice raleys etc even in these winds.
from this point on the wind picked up and up but just adjust the depower and you've literaly changed kite size and you're back in the sweet spot. with a bit of practise you can set the power whilst moving. the kite ate gusts and just gives so much confidence. instead of the usual scrotum inverting pain of a messed up sbend you just let go and it all stops before it happens. i did not bother with the stopper at all. there really is no need for it, the only time you may need it is walking out when you pass the board from hand to hand! it takes no time to learn to let go and from then on the thought of going back to a stopper just to do a dead man seems stupid!!!
it's so nice to come in for a break let go of the bar and then just sit and breath while the kite politely waits for relaunch.
get on the flat water and go for a speed run then just push away on the bar dig the rail in and bang you've stopped no need for the arse break!
Next stop was Rhosneigr in mast high waves. have no surf background and have never even seen them this big so setting out in gusty winds of 17-25knts seemed insane and everyone said don't. After a little think some loud music and a kick up the arse by the girlfriend i went for it. It was probably the best day of my life and certainly the sesh of my life. the fact i had the confidence to go for and nail new moves in these conditions blew me away, raleying off a wave to land toe side still on the face of the thing is just cracking!!! where were the cameras!!! carving toe side on the waves just depowering the kite and letting it drift along as you use the waves power but having the confidence that if it is gonna close out just pull the bar in and you have the power to escape was awesome! i ditched the kite twice in the close out zone and once it just bounced back the other time was a bit more hairy. the kite was caught by a wave and turned inside out, at this point my guts did the same. i was being rinsed all over the place but the kite simply wobbled it's way quickly to the relaunch position and took off and was fine, no tangles, nothing, got my board and continued til it nearly got dark. What a day! thanks to Kirsty Ed and single malt for the bravery to get out there!!!
next weekend was at borth out in gusty southerly but again it felt like clean wind on the kite. was great to be out with the massif!! kirsty nailed up wind in the waves Ed was boosting and then bang the squall from hell! Larry saved Kirst, Ed got lofted out of the sea and spun up the beach and i was still pootling along slowly waiting for it to drop it didn't and it began to reach the upper limit so i just headed in to shore slowly and let go of the bar. never got moved from were i stopped. for safety reasons alone we should all have these kites. it seems silly as weekend warriors or otherwise to get hurt and miss work or even more importantly time on the water for the sake of what a 12m used to cost anyway! no more lofting or drags up the beach or struggling into the sea. just set the power and stroll out then go out as powered as you want if you wanna go old scholl and fight the kite you can if you wanna cruise you can, boost, pop, wake, loop it does it all. did i mention boosting? send the kite to just past 12 and hit a wave at the same time then hang on but not to tight and you just fly, but beware these kites are quick doing what i used to have to do to jump lead to accidental kiteloops-these are not pussy loops, unless you want them to be! amazing speed on the turn.
the next day as many of you know it all went wrong and my chicken loop broke as the bolt pulled through the webbing and the kite flew off down wind to come to rest on the dunes. I contacted Sean at Airjam straight away about the problem and he instantly phoned Matt Pendle the Sonic designer. It turns out the factory changed the webbing used on the origional loops from a strong stiff webbing to a softer one without consulting Matt. Matt has immediately changed the production back to the stiffer (more expensive) webbing and will be distributing them within a week to existing sonic users. new kites will be sorted at the distributors.
So there was a problem but within a week of it happening it has been fixed all will be sorted. this is the only problem. for a company to take the problem on baord and fix it so quick is testimony to the after sales care that Gk will provide, they will not ignore your comments. the kite is amazing the hype is true the 11m really could be the one kite quiver but an 8m is probably gonna be so much fun we'll all end up with one anyway!!!
with the simple bar, low bar pressure, and ease of use but super high performance and safety this kite just might be the one!! for a kite to give a guy with a hernia the confidence to go out and nail unhooked sbends tantrums big raleys and start trying to get these damn flat 3's and landing powered to blind sorted is testimony to the awesome safety and also rideability of the kites. anyone who says they are just for waves are lying they rock for all the styles. This revolution MUST be televised!!!